Halloween demons and monsters

A similar post with a halloween theme, on how to work with the fears which our mind creates. It suggests that the best way to work with our fears involves turning towards and holding them in non-judgmental awareness, rather than fighting or running away:

Normally we empower our demons by believing that they are real and strong in themselves and have the power to destroy us…. [But]…demons are ultimately part of the mind and, as such, have no independent existence.

Nonetheless we engage with them as though they were real, and we believe in their existence – ask anyone who has fought post-traumatic stress, or addiction, or anxiety. The mind perceives demons as real, so we get up caught up in battling with them. Usually this habit of fighting against our perceived problems gives demons strength, rather than weakening them. In the end all demons are rooted in our tendency to create polarization. By understanding how to work with this tendency  – to try and dominate the perceived enemy and to see things as either/or – we free ourselves from demons by eliminating them at their very source.

Tsultrim Allione, Feeding your Demons: Ancient Wisdon for Resolving Inner Conflict

Things to do this weekend

Modern culture keeps sending all these messages that the people who know how to live properly are always doing something.

The great question “What are you doing this weekend?” keeps coming up, as if that defines us. We hear talk about lives where everything is “so busy that I do not have time to think”, or “I am so busy I never have time for myself”, or “I am so busy I am exhausted”, and this word, busy, busy, busy comes up time and again, and it starts to sound like an epidemic –  an epidemic of busyness.

Abbot Christopher Jameson, The Big Silence, BBC2

Leaves falling

A wild and windy Autumn day. The leaves are falling in earnest. Am reminded of Shelley’s words: O wild West Wind, thou breath of Autumn’s being… The wind is related to the breath in many of the wisdom traditions, and the breath to the Spirit or the life force within us. In the poem,  the wind moves Shelley to reflect on his inner self, and see parallels between his life and that of the nature around him.

Make me thy lyre, even as the forest is:
What if my leaves are falling like its own!

The tumult of thy mighty harmonies  Will take from both a deep, autumnal tone,
Sweet though in sadness. Be thou, Spirit fierce, My spirit! Be thou me, impetuous one!

Drive my dead thoughts over the universe
Like withered leaves to quicken a new birth!
And, by the incantation of this verse,

Scatter, as from an unextinguished hearth Ashes and sparks, my words among mankind!
Be through my lips to unawakened Earth

The trumpet of a prophecy! O Wind,
If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?

The difficulties are the way

View all problems as challenges.
Look upon negativities that arise as opportunities to learn and to grow.
Don’t run from them, condemn yourself, or bury your burden in saintly silence.

You have a problem? Great.
More grist for the mill. Rejoice, dive in, and investigate.

Bhante Henepola Gunaratana, Mindfulness in Plain English